DANIEL'S AMAZING PROPHECIES
The Master Prophecy of the Bible is given in Daniel 8. This chapter closely connects with Daniel 7 and 9 and should be studied together with them.
DANIEL 7 (written 553-552 B.C.) reveals world history from Daniel's time down to the Second Advent of Christ. In vision, Daniel sees 4 world empires symbolized as beasts, followed by a little horn power (Dan 7:1-8, 15-21, 23-25). The Investigative Judgment then convenes in heaven (Dan 7:9-10, 13, 22, 26) and after that history ends with the Second Advent of Christ (Dan 7:14, 27-28).
The animals in Daniel 7 parallel the parts of the metal image of Daniel 2. The lion in chapter 7 is Babylon (605-538 B.C.). The bear is Medo-Persia (538-334 B.C.). The leopard beast is Grecia (334-301 B.C., at which time it becomes divided into four kingdoms which continue on until around 168 B.C.). The terrible beast is Pagan Rome (168 B.C. to the 5th Century A.D., when it becomes broken into ten kingdoms). The little horn is Papal Rome, which gained full power by 538 A.D., after uprooting three kingdoms (the Heruli, Vandals and Ostrogoths).
DANIEL 8 is composed of two major parts. The first is an EVENT prophecy that closely parallels the prophecy of Daniel 7. This prophecy is about two beasts and a little horn that follows them (Dan 8:1-12, 20-25). The first beast, a ram, is Medo-Persia (538-334 B.C.), and the he-goat which struck it down was Grecia (334-168 B.C.). The "notable horn" was Alexander the Great who, before his death in 323, carved out the largest empire in history up to that time - in only ten years. When he was broken off in the prime of life, the empire divided into four sections. The little horn is Pagan Rome which, historians tell us, was taken over by Papal Rome. Much of Daniel 7 and 8 (7:8, 19-26 and 8:9-12, 23-25) is given to a concern over this power which would speak blasphemies (7:8, 20; 8:11), and seek to kill God's people (7:21, 25; 8:10, 24-25), cast down the truth (8:12, 25), tear God's Sanctuary down from heaven (8:11), and even try to change the Law of God (7:25). Revelation 13 (read verses 6-7, for example) deals with this same little horn power - the Papacy.
But there is a second part to Daniel 8: This is a TIME prophecy (Dan. 8: 13-14, 26). The prophecy itself is given in Daniel 8: 14. "Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." Careful reading of this chapter reveals that while the angel Gabriel was told to explain the vision of Daniel 8 to the prophet (8:16), yet only the event prophecy was explained (8:17-25), while the time prophecy was only referred to (8:26). Daniel nearly fainted under the burden (8:27), and the prayer of Daniel 9 is the result.
DANIEL 9 begins with the prophet's prayer for guidance and help for his people (Dan 9:1-19). Gabriel, the one whom he had seen in his earlier vision of Daniel 8 (9:21), is then sent in answer to his prayer (9:20), and in order to complete the explanation (9:22-23).
The SEVENTY WEEK PROPHECY is then given (Dan 9:24-27). Seventy weeks are "determined" ("cut off in Hebrew-cut off from the larger 2300 day [year] prophecy) for the Jews. Therefore, the first part of the 2300 Day prophecy of Daniel 8:14 is time allocated to the Jews to conclude their probation as God's specially favored nation.
In Bible prophecy, a day equals a year (Num 14:34; Ezek 4:6). The decree of Artaxerxes, given in his seventh year as king-in 457 B.C. (Dan 9:25; Ezra 6:14; 7:6-8), restoring the Jewish government, begins this vast time prophecy of 2300 years. The first 70 weeks (Dan 9:24-27) of this prophecy, cut off or allotted to the Jews, equals 490 years. The walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt in 1 week or 49 years (408 B.C.). Another 62 weeks brings us to the anointing of Christ for His mission in 27 A.D. 483 years are now past; only 1 week remains of the 70. In the midst of this week (Dan 9:26-27), 31 A.D., Messiah is cut off or crucified. A second half-week of 3 1/2 years brings us to 34 A.D., when at the stoning of Stephen the gospel is taken to the Gentiles.
In 34 A.D. the 70 weeks, or 490 years, is completed. 1810 years remains to be fulfilled in this longest of Bible time prophecies - the 2300 year prophecy of Daniel 8:14. At its termination in 1844 A.D. began the "cleansing of the sanctuary" predicted in this important passage, Daniel 8:14.
Jesus is our High Priest in the heavenly Sanctuary (that the earthly was patterned after). In 1844 began His final work within it, prior to His Second Advent to the earth for His people.
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